Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Refuse to Inherit The Hatred - India Pakistan Amity

My last post was about how I landed up at a meet discussing -India Pakistan Amity across the border .
Interesting bits from the panel discussion :
Javed Anand moderated the session.Faiyyaz Ahmed regaled the audience with his wit and shayari. Mr Mazhar a film maker spoke about the role of audio visual medium in projecting the sentiments from either sides. Films like Bol did make a bold statement he pointed out.We could not agree more.A brilliant film indeed !Mr Javed Anand and Mr Firoz Ashraf touched and explored the humane side of the society in India and Pakistan while Mr Nawazudden, and Mr.Surferaaz dissected the political scenario.

As I took the mike,I simply had to share my earliest memories with the audience ,when Pakistan was just a place in my backyard. As a very young child,during our summer vacations to a small town in Rajasthan,every morning we would hear our grandfather announce to no one in particular,-'Haan bhai, Pakistan ja kar aate hain zara' .This was before I was introduced to History and Geography , so for me, the toilet situated at the far end of the ancestral property WAS Pakistan. People had to visit Pakistan every single morning.

 We grew up surrounded by stories on partition,experienced the blackouts during 1971 war and the hatred swelled up to take the shape of an enormous giant.There was one thing which never failed to intrigue me though..the curiosity around a Pakistani in India .Oh! he is a Pakistani (suspicion), but he is so gentle,so talented (pleasant surprise) !  Mr Firoz Ashraf  spoke about similar experiences on  his visit to Pakistan and remembered fondly his interactions with the simple rural Pakistani folk in a remote village.Breaking bread with them he did not once feel that the human connect was broken anywhere..Another speaker however was not able to see it with rose tinted glasses and felt the tension while interacting with a group in Lahore.The fact is that the animosity  which took birth due to politics,echoed as popular public sentiment for years and politics fueled it further instead of diffusing it. 

Having said that, the issues between the two countries, have escalated to the point from where the return seems very difficult if not impossible.As Mr.Surferaaz said, -" Mayoos hain , naummeed nahin " I however disagree from the general opinion there,that of the countries becoming one again.A thick quilt of  suspicion,hatred and many betrayals has covered the region for decades.The naked face beneath the quilts is ugly and sadly no one wants to see it.Not yet ..

People in the meet talked about the famous wall that divided and united Germany .When it comes to us,it is not just  a concrete wall that separates the two countries. From where things stand today,the logistics will be very difficult to work out. We have, perched on our pretty noses,glasses with a dark tint of suspicion.Everything that the other does is viewed with suspicion.In such a scenario,obviously the administration will be worried. What if the lax visa rules are misused? We have suffered at the hands of global terrorism enough to know better and so has Pakistan. The hate campaign governed by politics on both sides is effective because there is hardly any interaction at  the common man's level.

 Extensive ,well planned cultural ,educational and music related tours need to be planned across the border . What ever this generation from either side knows about the issue,has been fed ,fodder laced with the deadly poison of hatred.Let the youth interact without the above mentioned agenda and the difference will be all too obvious.When people are matured and  sensitized to being open with each other without a trace of inherited malice,we can may be move and discuss the issues but we will see that there will be no need for such discussions anymore.The border will be just a line on the map.

I see hope when I hear my UK based friends sharing much more than language,physical features and food with their Pakistani friends.Once during  India Pakistan cricket match in UK, this group realized that supporters of one country in their group outnumbered the other .The mixed crowd split into two ,one supporting each country ,had their fun during the match and later, popped a bottle of champagne to celebrate the win together. Sugar laden story ? But true!
  
 I decided for myself one day , that I refuse to inherit the hatred , the anger and the animosity from my forefathers.My refusal to confine myself to a particular religion and rituals was a natural progression and came much later in life. I am playing my bit  in not passing on this inheritance  to my children and when they know not to hate..I am at peace to know that it shall not be carried to the generation hence.If every Indian and Pakistani decides to not pass on this inherited animosity to their descendants and if this continues unhindered for the next few generations both nations stand to only reap the benefits of peace in the region.


15 comments:

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and reading Ash.

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  2. The political dispensations are primarily responsible for what followed the partition! The war games played in the backyards have left only the common men bleeding and suffer. A thoughtful post, Sharmila!

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    1. Yes,about time both countries cut down on their defense budget.Thank you Rahul.

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  3. Well, We as South Asian behave differently when we are not in own country.

    I was person of hope ( in this case specifically), I thought we should be bridged, I still think so but I am not so optimistic about it after 1999.

    Pakistan! will disintegrate as a country ( as per American reports), too unstable to survive they say.

    Unfortunately I dont know how their people feel and why dont they do something,

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    1. You are right, we behave differently in a foreign land.Thank you for reading and welcome to my pace Makk.

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  4. We have to stay true to our hearts, and be the change the world needs.

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    1. Well said Brenda.Thank you for reading.

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  5. One political blunder and generations are paying the price for it. But I truly believe when people meet in person they don't see such a problem. I am friends with people from Pakistan and we have so much in common. A thought provoking post and as mentioned in the post, if there are some differences, we have hope...

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    1. Communication sans politics is our hope.Thank you Saru and welcome to my space.

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  6. We have to call a halt to hatred before it consumes us as human beings. And as you have pointed out, the people have no animosity towards each other but when mob mentality takes over, things go out of control and of course when the politicians interfere, they begin stinking.

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    1. True that Zephyr.Thank you for reading.

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  7. I had the privilige of managing a team that was in Pakistan -and I can tell you they are equally competent, tired of politics and hatred,and was peace and prosperity, just as we do. If we do not let go off the past, it will always drag us back in time even in the future.

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    1. Probably you are in a position to give a better insight into the interpersonal equation.It will be nice to read your thoughts on the same.Thank you for reading and welcome to my space.It means a lot.

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  8. I share your sentiments a hundred percent. Even if the bridges seem unbridgeable we, the ordinary people, the artists, the food seem to have so much in common. Damn politics and politicians - they have denied us open access to each other for too long. I've read two other articles that echo your sentiment - one was a Youtube video of an Indian reporter who went to a Pakistani school and spoke openly about the way we are misinformed on both sides and the other was a reporter couple who were hounded in Pakistan by ISI spies but given protection by the ordinary folk there who were indignant at the behaviour of those spies.

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